Friday, December 24, 2010

A Poet's Carols: Songs for Yule

As a Yule gift to readers of American Witch, here is my personal collection of pagan-friendly carols. Some are traditional and unchanged. Some are the very best neopagan adaptations I could find by others— signed or anonymous—sometimes as stand-alone songs, and sometimes as second verses of the originals.  Some I have altered myself, keeping as many words of the original as possible, so they are familiar but can be sung with full gusto by those who want to encompass female as well as male-centered spirituality.  Except for the virtuoso "13 days of Solstice," which I couldn't resist including, I have tried all these out on my ever-skeptical daughter and they have passed her muster; we'll be singing them this afternoon with a group of friends and neighbors, and I may make a few adjustments after then as well.  In the spirit of the collective folk tradition in which all these songs partake to one degree or another, I offer them to you here.  You should be able to paste these into a document in this order, and they will make a little carolling booklet with 1 or 2 songs per 5" x 8" page. A copy shop can run it up for you. Happy Yule!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eclipse, Solstice, Yule, Blogaversary, Carols: Thoughts on Creativity and Recurrence

What a special, special Solstice night.  My daughter and I, in rooms at two ends of the house, were both awakened at around 2:40 AM (just as, it turns out, the eclipse was heading into its fullness) by what seems to have been an identical feeling:  a warm rush of happiness entering through the crowns of our heads.  I lay there for a while and felt the world, in every detail and in every commonality, united in a harmony of unity and love. Soon I went downstairs to look for the moon, which had been full and clear when I went to bed.  It was hidden by clouds, but I stayed there, mindful of astrologer Gretchen Lawlor's words in an email to me yesterday evening: " I've just realized it is important, at some time during this eclipse to stand up and feel the alignment, be part of the drama, another channel for the light. When you stand, the Earth and past it the Sun will be in alignment beneath your feet, and the Moon directly overhead, at your crown. Even if it's cloudy and we cannot see it."  I stood and felt the channel, exactly as she had described it.  

How different from last year's solstice celebration, described in the very first post on American Witch, which was also wonderful in a completely different way.  That was rousing, external and solar, this one, so far, peaceful, internal and lunar.  But each, incontrovertible.  I love how being a Wiccan gives me so much flexibility to find the Spirit how and why I need to find it.  This year we will also be partaking in many of the traditions of last year, but there is so much space for creativity every year as well. What will we be doing? Will I finish my own solstice carol? I know I will be posting here, soon, my new versions of Christmas carols, invented during a concert this weekend and suitable for Goddess-believers to sing along!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Solstice Call for Solstice Poems

So, this coming Solstice will be the first time in 456 years (or 307 years, depending on which calculations you are following) that there has been a lunar eclipse on the Winter Solstice.  There has been much conjecture about the meaning of the connection; this article (thanks, Chas!) takes a common sense approach ("Wiccans don't think of things as being good or evil—they just are") and provides a pleasing interpretation, regarding the conjunction of female and male energies.  It's certainly looking to be a specially powerful solstice, and I'll be posting again on the season soon.  

Meanwhile, in honor of the occasion, I'm sending out a call to share Solstice poems.   If you have one or know of one, please post them in the Comments section.  Solstice songs would also be great.  

One of my aims with this blog is to up the quantity and quality of the canon of pagan/earth-spirited/goddess-inspired art, literature, and music.  So poems are always welcome at any point in the wheel of the year.

Happy Season!